Baby towers, life in the family fast lane, family love

I took the twins to the zoo today after dropping Ted off for his shuttle and Hazel off for school. It was so cold (for here) that I didn’t want them to spend masses of time outside in the stroller, not walking around to generate their own warmth. So we went to the play area, where they built towers, ran around, and Emily went down a fairly long slide on her tummy. I hadn’t seen her do that yet, and was nervous about letting go of her hands and letting her slide down, but she had a grin on her face at the bottom.

I also hadn’t seen them build such tall towers without help. They built and laughed and knocked them over, lather rinse repeat. Joanna’s delight with herself and her creations was contagious. There were big smiles all around.

The zoo visit was followed by the twins’ swimming lesson. Since I left my thermos in the zoo’s play area and had to go back to get it, we got back to the house a bit later than I’d planned. My nanny got the swim things together, and we got to the pool on time. But I have increasingly been feeling that this 90 mph life I’m living is too much, and that something has to go. The fandango every day to make sure everything happens in our tightly-constructed schedule is hard on my nerves. I really don’t know what the answer is in terms of the specifics. And I do know that things will change as time goes on. In the fall Hazel will go off to kindergarten. This will mean that I will not get as much time with her, but it will also mean that I won’t have the mid-day step of picking her up from school right at the twins’ lunchtime. I’ll be able to go over to get her with them in tow, after nap. And that will be easier.

So I think rather than trying to figure out the perfect schedule that I can walk like the yellow brick road to the shining emerald city of a harmoniously balanced life schedule in which everyone moves, dances, plays, and works as they “should” (snort), I need to start thinking in shorter increments of time. What do we need to do to best take care of ourselves today, this week, this month. Forget next month, or next year. What do we need now? And it’s ok if our needs change, as of course they will with frequency, unpredictability, and vigor.

I have a friend who, when her kids were younger, said that she really didn’t get to email, didn’t have time, and so might not be in touch over long periods, maybe months. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND. I do now.

This afternoon I promised Hazel that I’d come home from work in time to say goodnight to her before the kids went to sleep. I made it. I had my stuff packed up and ready to go so I could walk out the door at the end of my last student’s lesson, and there’s little traffic at 8:45 pm. I was very happy to walk dump my stuff, go upstairs, and hold Hazel in my arms. After a while the twins crawled up onto the mattress to join the hug. And then Hazel, who had an ulterior motive in the form of another book being read to her, suggested that I nurse the twins. Really, it was a win-win-win-win-win. I got to center myself by feeding my babies. Hazel got another story. Ted got more alone-time with Hazel. The babies got some warm cozy snuggle Mommy time. They all went to sleep about 20 minutes late, but it was worth it. And I also got the amusement factor of watching them whap each other in the head while nursing. So it was 90% love, 10% evil. That’s pretty good, right?

And now I am going to listen to my body. I made the huge mistake of eating a chocolate bar this afternoon. I am still feeling sick to my stomach. I am going to have a bit of protein and go to bed. I really have to remember from now on that the best treat for me is not sugar. It makes me feel like crap. Even fries would be better.

Tomorrow is another day, and another set of trilled harmonics.

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